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The WTO Stalemate: One very big "no"
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a paradoxical institution. It was founded on the ostensible notion of free trade improving living standards around the world, but its agreements serve mainly corporate interests in North America, Europe, and the developed Asia-Pacific region (Japan, Australia, New Zealand). Its structure holds out the hope of democracy and equal participation, but in practice it is the scene of tremendously coercive political and economic manipulation. Its flaws, in particular the unfair advantage that wealthy countries have in negotiations, have been explored at length over its eight-year life. But some hope always flickered, particularly because the organization makes decisions through the consensus of its 146-government membership.
As it turns out, the leadership of the WTO did not learn much in Seattle, but they made sure to hold their future bi-annual summits in easily-controlled locations far from tenacious protesters. The November 2001 summit was held in Doha, Qatar, one of the principalities on the Arabian Peninsula where freedom of expression is sharply restricted. This years conference took place on a narrow, single-road peninsula consisting entirely of resort hotels just outside the city of Cancún, which is on the remote Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
The Cancún Summit (September 10 to 14, 2003) was not a re-play of Seattle, where well-organized protesters, both inside the convention center and on the streets outside, combined with government delegates embittered by the arrogance of the U.S. hosts, to shut down the new round of negotiations.
Opponents came to Cancún from at least 40 countries. The numbers were smaller than the 50,000 some predicted. But organizers on the ground always knew that such numbers were unlikely to materialize. There were approximately 10,000 to 15,000 people at the height of the protests, which started at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, September 10. The march that day was organized by Via Campesina, the international network of small-scale agricultural producers. The event was both spirited and sober, as participants were conscious of the gravity of the plight faced by most of the farmers there, who are engaged in a losing battle with a rigged global trading system that keeps commodity prices artificially low, undermining non-corporate agriculture everywhere. Most of the marchers were from Mexico, but there were farmers from West Africa, Japan, the United States, India, South Korea, and many Latin American and Caribbean countries. The Korean delegation was particularly impressivecomposed of nearly 200 people, most of them farmers, along with a contingent from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.
The Koreans surprised the other marchers by charging the main barricade with a battering ram reported to look like a dragon. A few minutes later, a Korean farmer named Lee Kyun-Hae climbed the fence with a sign reading WTO Kills Farmers and stabbed himself in the chest, performing a self-immolation. Such suicides have become common among small-scale farmers in Asia when they find they cannot maintain their livelihood (and are not unheard of among U.S. family farmers). By committing suicide at the WTO summit, Lee put the corporate-biased agricultural policies of the WTO in the spotlight with undeniable pathos, a searing attack on the WTOs human impact that no one could ignore.
Taking the Message Inside
In addition to the protests in downtown Cancún and the smaller actions on the streets just outside the convention center, many activists penetrated the meeting siteall entirely legally. The WTO accredited some 980 non-governmental organizations, though they were not allowed near the rooms where negotiations were taking place. There were also well over 1,000 reporters using the media center, which had generous banks of computers, printers, fax machines, and DSL lines. Only 200 NGOs were given passes to the opening ceremony, but about 30 of them made good use of the opportunity by standing with their mouths covered by black tape, holding signs with messages like WTO Obsolete and WTO Undemocratic, as Director General Supachai Pantichpakdi spoke. Security guards isolated, but did not accost them, so they chanted shame, shame as they filed out of the hall.
A press conference on agriculture by the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative was interrupted twice the next day by activists denouncing the anti-farmer, pro-corporate policies of the U.S. government and the WTO. A few hours later, a notice tacked onto the video bulletin board listing upcoming press conferences read: Because of an incident on September 11, NGOs will no longer be allowed to attend press briefings.
The Group of 21 countries, or G-21, held a press conference on Tuesday, September 9. The foreign minister of Brazil, the deputy trade minister of China, and trade ministers from India, South Africa, Argentina, and Costa Rica gathered to announce the groups determination to stick together throughout the conference. The group had formed in response to the WTO Secretariats release of an official draft text for the Cancún summit. That document was based almost wholly on a joint submission by the United States and the European Union and was widely attacked for ignoring the concerns developing countries had been expressing since the Doha ministerial where the terms of the negotiating round were laid down.
The groups agenda was fairly narrowinsisting on cuts in Northern countries agricultural subsidies and greater access to Northern marketsand the speakers at the press conference dwelt on their determination not to succumb to inducements or threats from the Northern governments designed to erode their unity. The groups de facto coordinator, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin, said, We will keep our unity, which will be tested repeatedly, starting from this very moment. They also emphasized the significance of the constituency they represented63 percent of all farmers and 51 percent of the worlds population.
The seriousness of the challenge represented by the G-21 was made clear by the intensity of the campaign launched by delegates from the U.S. and the EU to discredit or split the group, and to bribe other countries to pledge not to join. But by the end of the conference the only changes were the departure of El Salvador, its right-wing government successfully bribed, and the addition of Nigeria and Indonesia. Population isnt everything, of course, but in adding up the numbers after that realignment, the G-20+ (as it came to be called) ended up representing over 60 percent of the worlds population (the list on September 15 was: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Venezuela).
As negotiations dragged on and after the talks collapsed, U.S. officials blamed the G-20+, though seldom by name. According to people who saw his final press conference, the lead U.S. delegate, Robert Zoellick, was clearly driven to distraction by the Southern-led collapse of the talks. His threats to shift the U.S. focus to bilateral trade treaties, such as those recently concluded with Morocco, Singapore, and Chile, seem likely to go forward, even though the EU and WTO officials say they further complicate the global system. The U.S. has already been moving forward in negotiations for sub-regional pacts, like the Central U.S. Free Trade Agreement and a Southern Africa Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. has nearly unlimited leverage in those sub-regional and bilateral agreements and can maneuver countries into giving in on more issues than are even brought up at the WTO. Chile, for example, pledged to abolish its capital controls, which were long pointed to as the model for Southern countries wanting to exercise some control over hot money foreign investments that can be quickly pulled out of a country at the hint of panic.
Tempting as it may be to see the governments of the G-20+ as warrior-heroes facing down the evil empires of the North, we should not lose sight of the fact that they are all political formations too, many of them unsavory or at least as prone to self-serving, corrupt actions as our own. Indias fundamentalist-fascist government is not likely to become a progressive model as a result of being a leader in the G-20+ and China is not going to adopt a new conception of human rights. Toward the end of the Cancún meeting, there were rumorsstill unsubstantiatedthat certain countries in the G-20+, including Brazil and China, were eager to find a way to make some sort of deal.
A case could be made that the real mavericks, the ones who took the decisive position that halted the meeting, were those in what became known as the G-32 or G-33 (call it G-30+ for consistency). Drawn largely from the ACP group (Africa-Caribbean-Pacific, from a trade treaty between the EU and the more impoverished exporting nations), the G30+ was usually represented by Indonesia and did have other overlaps with the G-20+. But the bulk of its membership was the poorest countries, particularly in Africa. In distinction from G20+ groups, that sought cuts in Northern subsidies and access to Northern markets, the G30+ focused on special productsthat is, identifying a range of agricultural commodities, perhaps different from country to country, that governments could protect without penalty.
The G-30+ did not have the high profile of the other group, but in political terms its aimsmaintaining unity in the face of intense pressure from the Northwere similar and its success at least as great. There were efforts to unite the two groups and reports that a large group of African countries was close to joining the G-20+ as a bloc. In the end, they were not persuaded in time, but the two groups were clearly cooperating strategically. The take-home idea from Cancún will be, as intended by both the G-20+ and the G-30+, that the South will not be easily broken in future trade negotiations at the WTO and perhaps other fora as well. Even if all the Gs become obsolete in a matter of months, it is that specter that will haunt Zoellick and his EU counterpart, Pascal Lamy, from now on.
Anatomy of the Final Standoff
In analyzing Cancún, few commentators have questioned the notion that one of the Southern-country blocs is responsible for the failure at Cancún. The implicit idea, made explicit by some, is that all of the Southern governments have simultaneously been captured by radicals. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Josette Shiner went on the PBS NewsHour with Jamaicas chief negotiator, Richard Bernal, and said she thought the developing countries were getting poor advice from NGOs like Oxfam. Apart from the bold effrontery necessary to go on national television and accuse a high-ranking official from another government borrowing his positions and strategies from an NGO, Shiner seemed to be asking viewers to accept that every Southern country from Mali to China was also content to leave their strategizing and policy making up to Oxfam.
Its not that all the governments of the G-20+ and G-30+ were suddenly infected with anti-imperialist fervor. Most of them want to make trade deals with the U.S., EU, and Japanmany desperate to do so to get more hard currency. But the recognition that the WTO, and the entire global economic system, is rigged to keep them in the role of suppliers of cheap labor and cheap commodities has finally become undeniable, even for trade and commerce ministers trained at schools like the London School of Economics or veterans of places like the World Bank.
Whether one considers the collapse promising or distressing, it should be clear that the real obstructionists were the Northern countries. The U.S. took the lead in remaining unmoveable on agriculture concessions and the European Union and Japan staffed the barricades on the Singapore issues. It was the Norths unwillingness to give any ground, not the new insistence by the South that they deal openly and fairly, that prevented progress toward an agreement.
When the WTO was created in 1995, at the culmination of the Uruguay round of talks under the predecessor organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the U.S. and its allies successfully insisted on the inclusion of a number of issues that had been excluded from GATT talks. Notable among those were agriculture, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) which applies to commerce in everything from insurance to water provision to postal delivery and has yet to fully come into effectand Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), or patents, which has been the source of the international debate on pricing of HIV/AIDS medications and other life-saving drugs that can be manufactured cheaply by producers of generics. That last controversy was temporarily resolved just before Cancún with an agreement between the pharmaceutical industry and the U.S., EU, Brazil, South Africa, and Kenyaan agreement widely, though not universally, denounced by HIV/AIDS advocacy groups.
The inclusion of each of those issues, which, with the exception of agriculture, had not been considered part of trade, in the new WTO was considered a significant concession by many developing countries. Government procurement, competition policy, trade facilitation, and investment were successfully put off until the first WTO summit, held in Singapore (hence the Singapore issues).
Although agriculture got the great bulk of the attention during the meeting, it was lack of common ground on the Singapore issues that led the Mexican hosts to declare the meeting over. On those issues, the G-30+ were standing by the terms agreed to at the 2001 summit in Doha; it was the EU and Japan (and, oddly, South Korea, which swings between Northern and Southern identities) that took a hardline position and refused to budge.
In Doha, under pressure to show support for the United States in the weeks after the September 11 attacks and to send a reassuring message to the global economy, the countries of the South were reluctantly drawn into an ambiguous declaration initiating the Doha development round of negotiationsso named as an inducement to the South, which was told that the rich countries would allow the development needs of the poorer countries to weigh more heavily than the usual imperatives of corporate profit during this round of talks. In the run-up to Cancún, many commentators and Southern country officials complained that the North had not carried through on its promise; by the time they got to Cancún the cynicism of that pledge was old news and hardly even mentioned.
Doha ended in a chaotic jumble after several extensions of the final session, ultimately reaching 38 consecutive hours. Having exhausted their counterparts from smaller delegations and won a number of concessions, the U.S. and its allies finally had to make one concession, by accepting the Indian governments insistence that negotiations on the Singapore issuesthe effort to agree on common rules for investment, competition policy, government procurement, and trade facilitation, etc.could go forward only if and when WTO member countries approved with explicit consensus.
Almost no Global South countries declared themselves in favor of opening negotiations on any of those issues. Coming into Cancún, 70 countries joined in an unequivocal rejection of taking them up. During the course of the meeting that number swelled to 90. It seemed that no one could possibly argue that an explicit consensus existed.
The World Development Movement, a British NGO, clearly knew better. The EU wanted all four issues to go forward, so the WDM made badge holdersthe nylon necklaces that hold picture-identification credentials at meetings like the WTOswith the phrase explicit consensus printed in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Hindi. They were widely distributed and became the subject of a ban on the conferences fourth day. Security personnel were ordered to confiscate them at all entrances for several hours, until someone pointed out that the action would probably not pass a Mexican constitutional test.
The WDM folks werent the only ones that arrived with props. From out of nowhere a document from the government of Niger, which seemed to express interest in supporting the Singapore issues, started circulating; it was soon revealed to be out-of-date and from a low-level bureaucrat. Then Togo, a tiny country with the longest-reigning dictator on the African continent, indicated it would support the new issues. The rest of the African countries repudiated Togos stand.
The EU stuck by its position. Never addressing the question of explicit consensus, Pascal Lamy, together with his Japanese and Korean counterparts, insisted that a commitment to begin negotiations on the Singapore issues should be included in the final declaration. A last-minute offer by Lamy to drop the two more controversial issuescompetition policy and investmentwas not enough. The G-30+, and many other countries as well, saw the EU position as an unbearably arrogant dismissal of clearly-articulated positions by a majority of WTO member countries. After quick consultations with its African partners, the Kenyan delegation was the first to say that there could be no compromise with Lamy and a member of the delegation was sent to the media center to tell the throng of reporters, Its over.
Whats It All Mean?
The simplest assessment is that it means no changes in the status quo: the round is stalemated for now, though there will be attempts, however faint, to revive it in Geneva in the months to come. It means the next WTO summit, set for Hong Kong in either late 2004 or early 2005, could be the last gasp of the Doha round. The WTO may become more of an administrative body, interpreting treaties and adjudicating disputes, rather than hosting negotiations.
For Northern governments it can be taken as a sharp repudiation of the coercive negotiating tactics they have used since Southern countries first entered the GATT. There have been calls from many parts of Europe for Lamy to resign. A different perspective is offered by The Economist, the British weekly of the elite classes. For its editors, Cancún is the most vivid sign that Southern countries have been given too loud a voice. It recommends following the lead of the Bush administration, with its firm squelching of Africas request for slightly expanded board representation.
For Southern governments it is positive reinforcement for the impulse to at last refuse the exploitation of the North. For people in both the North and South, its good news. It means a greater chance for peace, fair trade, decent livelihoods, dignity, healthy food, a more sustainable ecology, and a global sense of solidarity. For the global justice movement, Cancún takes its place in the honor roll of victories that includes Seattle and the freezing of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) in 1997-98. Ironically, it was the attempt to revive the MAI in the form of the Singapore issues investment provisions that sealed the fate of the Cancún talks.
Cancún should be publicized as a major victory for the global justice movement, even though the result was not precisely a direct result of the movements efforts. However, the resolve of government negotiators in Cancún to stand up to the Northern plutocracy was undoubtedly created, in part, and significantly reinforced by the pressure mounted by the movement. From the policy wonks at organizations Focus on the Global South, Third World Network, ActionAid, and, yes, Oxfam, to the vivid, courageous, and persistent street demonstrations proclaiming an abiding belief in people before profits, the movement was indispensable to the triumph in Cancún.
If the movement is able to sustain momentum and pressure, it may be the beginning of a positive shift in the way governments deal with social movements, with their own constituents, and with those who would exploit their people; it may even be the start of the political paradigm shift so many have been working for.
Lest the movement give in to the temptation to euphoria, it should be said that history would suggest that preparing for betrayals and buy-offs would be a good idea. But it should also be said that there are other indications of a positive shift. In the same week as the Cancún meetings, Argentina was able to negotiate a new deal with the IMF to re-schedule its massive debt to the institution. By exercising its power as a large debtor (when you owe the bank $100, it owns you; when you owe the bank $100 million, you own it), and wielding the support of its neighbors and others, Argentina successfully resisted most of the key demands made by the IMF, including dramatic hikes in utility rates and increased mortgage foreclosures. Such successful bargaining is practically unheard of at the IMF and, together with the news from Cancún, it suggests that when the power of public opinion is brought to bear on governments, governments will sometimes stand up for their peopleand that the centers of the Norths concentrated power can be overcome.
Finally, all eyes turn to Miami, where trade and foreign ministers from around the western hemisphere will gather in mid-November to continue negotiations on FTAA. Continued success is necessary there to preserve the momentum from Cancún. The buzz about the event across North Americas activist communities is probably the loudest it has been since Seattle and promises a very interesting few days (November 17-22). The key to Miami, from the insiders perspective, is the position of the Brazilian government. With Brazils new president, Lula da Silva of the Workers Party, there are reasons for optimism. But Lula has also made alarming noises about wanting to have the FTAA in place by 2005, even as other signals suggest a desire to subvert the plan. Brazilian activists are uncertain about where Lula will finally come down on trade with the U.S. The stakes are very high this time: Miami will tell us a lot about the future of globalization.
Soren Ambrose is with the New Voices on Globalization/50 Years Is Enough Network. Photos in this article by Orin Langelle.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.